đź’¶ Real Madrid vs PSG: Key talking points, team news & predictions

The Bernabéu plays host to a tantalizing Champions League R16 second leg tonight between 13-time European champions Real Madrid and a star-studded PSG. 

Our betting expert is here with a comprehensive preview. 

đź—ž Match context

This fascinating R16 battle is delicately-poised after Kylian MbappĂ©’s sublime stoppage-time winner for PSG against Real Madrid, a team which has made no secret of its admiration for the Frenchman. Real Madrid was poor in the first-leg, seemingly set up to stifle their French opponents and try to escape with a goalless draw. But then MbappĂ© happened. The 23-year-old superstar is the major subplot of undoubtedly the outstanding tie of this round. Real Madrid’s pedigree at this level is beyond doubt, and Los Blancos will need to call upon all of their experience to get the better of a supremely gifted Paris Saint-Germain side.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men simply have to score in the capital tonight, and that might play right into PSG’s hands. They will certainly need to have more than 43% of the ball like they did at the Parc des Princes.

🪙 Messi is still elite 

The great man has supplied 10 Ligue 1 assists this term, despite only spending 1,343 minutes on the pitch in French league action. Talk of him being past his best is very much premature, and the Argentinian thrives on evenings like these.

⚪️ Real Madrid team news

Key defensive midfield cog Casemiro is suspended, so the energetic Uruguayan Federico Valverde will deputise. A late decision will be taken on Toni Kroos’ fitness. Should he not be available, French teenager Eduardo Camavinga will take his place.

Likely Real Madrid XI (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, MilitĂŁo, Alaba, Nacho; Modric, Kroos, Valverde; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

🔵 PSG team news

MbappĂ© sustained a foot injury in training on Monday but is expected to be fit. Achraf Hakimi missed PSG’s last two Ligue 1 matches but will return here.

Likely PSG XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Verratti, Paredes, Pereira; Messi, Neymar, Mbappé

🔑 Key stats

  • Los Blancos hasn’t lost at home since late September (W10, D3) or failed to score since before Christmas. 
  • Karim Benzema has scored after the 75th minute in each of Madrid’s last three games.

  • PSG hasn’t won any of their last four UCL away matches (D2, L2), but they have fared well in Spain recently, beating Barcelona 4-1 at the Nou Camp last year and drawing 2-2 at the BernabĂ©u in 2019. 
  • Neymar netted two of his three career goals against Madrid at this venue.
  • Kylian MbappĂ© has 24 goals in 34 PSG appearances this term.

👨‍⚖️ Verdict

Madrid has to score but they won’t go hell for leather from the first whistle, perhaps wary of conceding and going 2-0 down on aggregate. A score draw looks on the cards here. 

đź’° Best bet: Both teams to score

đź”® Score tip: Real Madrid 2-2 PSG

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